Afghanistan

Op-Ed

A Return to Stoning Won’t Help the Effort to Rebrand Afghanistan

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Defense One

Following recent decisions made during a meeting of the Afghan grand assembly, Gayle Lemmon discusses how Afghans, U.S. foreign policy leaders, and others are working to shift the international perception of the Afghanistan war from one of hopelessness to one that reflects the strides the country has taken in economic growth, development progress, and human rights.

See more in Afghanistan; Nation Building

Must Read

Afghanistan Analysts Network: A Yes, a Maybe and a Threat of Migration: The BSA Loya Jirga’s Last Day

Authors: Kate Clark, Gran Hewad, and Obaid Ali

"When asked if Karzai was concerned that the US might lose faith and withdraw altogether, the president's spokesman said: 'We don't believe there is a zero option.' This rock solid belief that the U.S. will not walk away from Afghanistan gives Karzai the confidence to hold out when the Americans, as well as everyone at the jirga...are pressing him to sign."

See more in Afghanistan; Regional Security

Must Read

New Yorker: A Method to Karzai's Madness

Author: Matthieu Aikins

"[Karzai] would support an alternate center of power in the provinces in order to undermine the official one, such as the governor, that he had formally appointed. That way, both could be controlled by being balanced against each other; two weak allies were better than a single strong one who might break away. The result was perpetual instability. The tragedy of Karzai is that his survival strategy has been one that ultimately promotes weakness rather than strength."

See more in Afghanistan; Presidents and Chiefs of State

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New York Times: How Is Hamid Karzai Still Standing?

Author: William Dalrymple

"Independent reports by human rights groups back Karzai's contention that there are too many civilian deaths in Afghanistan. But if they have become his rallying cry, it is also because they bring to mind the broader issue of Afghan sovereignty — the feeling Afghans have that they have become colonized subjects."

See more in Afghanistan; Elections

Testimony

War Termination in Afghanistan

Author: Stephen Biddle

In his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa & Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, Stephen Biddle argues that short term success in Afghanistan is less important than the United States' ability to secure its long term interests beyond 2014.

See more in Afghanistan; Wars and Warfare

Must Read

GQ: Confessions of a Drone Warrior

Author: Matthew Power

"For decades the model for understanding PTSD has been 'fear conditioning': quite literally the lasting psychological ramifications of mortal terror. But a term now gaining wider acceptance is 'moral injury.' It represents a tectonic realignment, a shift from a focusing on the violence that has been done to a person in wartime toward his feelings about what he has done to others—or what he's failed to do for them."

See more in Afghanistan; Drones

Primary Sources

UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan: Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict

The Human Rights Unit of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) prepares mid-year reports on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict in Afghanistan, as mandated by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2096 (2013), which "recognizes the importance of ongoing monitoring and reporting to the United Nations Security Council on the situation of civilians in Afghanistan's armed conflict and in particular on civilian casualties."

See more in Afghanistan; Conflict Assessment; Human Rights